Inwa watch­tower set to re­open after re­vamp

The Myanmar Times - - News - MAUNG ZAW maungzaw@mm­

INWA arche­o­log­i­cal zone’s lean­ing watch­tower is set to soon re­open after a spate of re­pairs.

Nan Myint Tower in Tada-U town­ship has been closed due to restora­tion since the first week of October but is ex­pected to re­open to vis­i­tors some­time in Novem­ber, U Nyo Myint Tun direc­tor of the Man­dalay branch of the De­part­ment of Arche­ol­ogy, Na­tional Mu­seum, and Li­brary told The Myan­mar Times.

“Do­mes­tic and for­eign ob­servers will be al­lowed to go up after the re­pairs are done. When they are al­lowed back in, they must not de­face the tower by writ­ing on it,” he said.

The spire-like roof of Nan Myint Tower is be­ing painted and the floor is be­ing re­placed. Its cor­ri­dors are also be­ing re­paired to en­sure struc­tural in­tegrity. Peo­ple were not pre­vi­ously per­mit­ted to climb the tower be­cause it was dam­aged, U Nyo Myint Tun said.

The nearly 90-foot-high tower was erected in the 18th cen­tury and is the only re­main­ing tower of King Bagyi­daw’s palace after a se­ries of earth­quakes in 1839 caused sub­stan­tial dam­age. In­stead of re­build­ing, the for­mer royal cap­i­tal was aban­doned for Amara­pura.

In ad­di­tion to the work on Nan Myint Tower, the mid­dle cave of Pinya’s Three-Cave (Gu Thone Lone) Pagoda and the Inwa Arche­o­log­i­cal Mu­seum are also cur­rently closed for re­pair, with the for­mer nearly com­plete, U Nyo Myint Tun said.

The door of San­dar Puri and the palace wall that con­nects to the Kyaing Yone door are also slated to be re­paired be­fore the end of the fis­cal year.

The mu­seum, which houses stat­ues and ar­ti­facts from the sur­round­ing cul­tural her­itage zone that date back to the 14th cen­tury, as well as his­tor­i­cal pho­tos and maps, is ex­pected to be closed for the re­main­der of the year, with the De­part­ment of Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Re­search plan­ning a com­plete over­haul. More ex­hibits and in­stal­la­tion ar­eas are also in­cluded in the K80 mil­lion up­grade.

Ex­cept for the mu­seum re­vamp, all the re­pairs at Inwa are com­ing from a K180 mil­lion bud­get sup­plied by the Union gov­ern­ment. Th­ese build­ing were show­ing signs of their age and were sched­uled for re­pair prior to the Au­gust 24 earth­quake that dam­aged hun­dreds of his­tor­i­cal sites across the coun­try.

“Inwa is an an­cient zone well­known for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourism,” said tour guide Ma Thiri. “The an­cient build­ings in th­ese kinds of cul­tural zones must be con­served. It should not be a short-term plan. The na­tion de­rives in­come from those cul­tural zones. It is not just the build­ings that need work. The streets and messy yards should be cleared.”

– Trans­la­tion by San Layy

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